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I get asked, 'How can you have...

I get asked, 'How can you have such failures in your films?' Well, what else is life about? There's some sense of constant failure in something. Humor gives you a distance from it.

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Anytime you cast a movie and y...

Anytime you cast a movie and you need someone famous in the lead part, you're a prisoner of whoever happens to be famous in the six-month window in which you're trying to get a film financed.

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Joe E. Lewis said, 'Money does...

Joe E. Lewis said, 'Money doesn't buy happiness but it calms the nerves.' And that is how I feel about a film being well-received.

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Even if we die at 100, we're s...

Even if we die at 100, we're still dying young. I want at least 700 years. There's a lot of travelling and books to read and movies to see. I'm not going to squeeze it all in in 85 years.

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The novel succeeds on terms ex...

The novel succeeds on terms exclusive to literature. A good film succeeds on terms exclusive to the cinema. That's why so many bad novels can become good movies, like 'Jaws' or 'The Godfather.'

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I guess maybe I try to make mo...

I guess maybe I try to make movies that are closer to real life than are many Hollywood movies. But I still try to stay within a commercial narrative, a contemporary American vernacular.

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When you're a houseguest and y...

When you're a houseguest and you leave, it's nice to straighten something up or send your hosts a useful gift. And when you leave the planet, it's nice to have made a positive contribution.

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Marketing has supplanted story...

Marketing has supplanted story as the primary force behind the worthiness of making a film, and that's a very sad thing. It's film only as a function of consumerism rather than as an important component of our culture, and that's everywhere around the world.

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A pitfall of making a comedy w...

A pitfall of making a comedy with a studio-and it's also an American cultural thing-is that I get tired of being encouraged to go always for laughs.

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You would own the negative aft...

You would own the negative after seven years. The company would actually own the film. It's kind of a financial and moral thing about owning your own creative work.

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That's how I like to do it wit...

That's how I like to do it with actors, have them really go for it and I'll tell them when it's too much. It's always easier to bring it back then to push it further.

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To be fair-not that I really c...

To be fair-not that I really care about being fair to anyone, ever-but to be fair, I'm sure that same ratio of bad films to good probably exists in every studio.

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But it's just that the whole c...

But it's just that the whole country is making generally lousy films these days and has been for quite a while. That's the big problem that we all have to think about.

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Hollywood films have become a ...

Hollywood films have become a cesspool of formula and it's up to us to try to change it... I feel like a preacher! But it's really true. I feel personally responsible for the future of American cinema. Me personally.

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